Bearton Abbey is the home of siblings, Steerforth and Georgiana Beartram. Share in their daily escapades along with cousins, Burl and Pearl Cavedish of Cavedweller Hall, and friends who have yet to be revealed. Hobbs the butler always has something interesting to add making Barton a welcome and happy place indeed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fifty Shades of Earl Gray-Episode III

Last episode left us with Pearl sensing something was watching her...

"There is something here, I know it! It's like something is lurking behind me watching my every move!"

Turning quickly she and Burl stared at...
Before she could justify her belief of the unknown the front bell rang out announcing an arrival.

Victoria Bearwell arrived at Bearton Abbey with all the pageantry due her societal status. Something of a persnickety bear, her passion for perfection was superlative. Her father’s fortune was established after developing a colored rice starch that tinted the delicate mohair of lady bears. Many a bearoness succumbed to the fad of altering the natural color of their fur with various shades of pinks, purples, and blues. Unfortunately, as with all trends, the tinted fur fell out of style but not before a financial empire was established to sustain the Bearwells for generations to come. Being sole heiress, Victoria had been showered with attention her entire life. She was a very kind and gracious bear with soft wavy mohair in varying shades of gray with a reputation for having up to fifty shades of gray at any one time. Despite the family business her passion was tea. She was adamant that one could distinguish the perfect cup of tea simply by looking at the tincture of the liquid. It was this passion that made her somewhat difficult, especially for butlers who would bring cup after cup of the steaming brew before she was satisfied with the hue. Granted, many believed her pallet was not so much sensitive as her perspective was colored from the overly pigmented home in which she was raised.

Hobbs escorted Victoria into the parlor as the gentleman stood and Georgiana rushed to greet her.

"My dearest Georgiana, so glad to see you home again," Victoria declared as she embraced her old friend.

"It's good to be home. You are looking lovely Victoria. Have you added some color to your fur?"

"No, just a little more curl."
Looking about the room Victoria approached Pearl.
 "Pearl, it's ever so good to see you. I see you are letting your mohair go 'au natural."

Cringing at the remark Pearl started to respond when her brother gently tugged her arm reminding her to hold her tongue.

"Yes, my fur is naturally a beautiful color. You know I prefer a more natural look as opposed to a fake presumptuous appearance."
Burl glared at his sister's snide remarks.

Overlooking the slight Victoria continued on, "Burl always a pleasure to see you."
Holding out her paw Burl kissed it as she gazed past him at Steerforth.
Walking across the room she curtsied,
 "Steerforth, it has been entirely too long."
An amorous expression shrouded her silvery mohair.
Rolling her beaded eyes Pearl whispered to Burl, "She is so unbearable! How she throws herself at Steerforth, it's positively shameful."

Burl did not respond but continued to gaze upon Victoria's beauty.

Hobbs entered with a tray of tea and biscuits.

"Shall we have some tea?" Steerforth queried as Hobbs poured the steaming elixir.

"Of course," Victoria said sitting delicately on the edge of the chair.

Pouring the last cup of tea Hobbs quickly excused himself so as to avoid the inevitable fiasco to follow.

Victoria studied the cup with a scrutiny usually reserved for fine wine.

"I am not sure this tea will be to my liking. It seems a bit...pale."
Still swirling the liquid in the cup she continued staring at its golden hue.

"I can summon Hobbs if you would like a fresh cup." Steerforth said delicately.
All sat with baited breath awaiting her response.

Looking up from the cup Victoria smiled,
"Yes, that would be lovely. This is a bit pallid for my taste."

"That's odd I didn't notice you tasting it, unless your eyes have tastebuds." Pearl stated sarcastically.

Victoria looked at Pearl and smiled. "I am a connoisseur of fine teas. I have no need to taste when it is evident by the color of the liquid that it is unfit to sip."

"As if you would know the difference between fine tea or soup!"

Puffing at the remark Victoria started to respond when Georgiana intervened.

"Now Pearl, we are all aware of Victoria's keen sense of taste. She was merely making an observation and I feel certain meant no disrespect, isn't that so Victoria?"

"Of course. I would never be so 'déclassé' as to point out a flaw in someone else."

Fuming at the unexpected insult Pearl puffed as Steerforth rang the bell pull for a second time. "That's odd. Hobbs is always prompt. I cannot understand what is keeping him.
At this statement attention was diverted from the two feuding bears to the lack of response from Hobbs.

“That is strange. It’s not like Hobbs to be late.”

“I’ve been telling you that something unknown has been lurking about lately.” Pearl responded.

(scary organ music in the background, dun dun dun!)

"Oh my, whatever should we do?"

"I don't know about you, but I am going to get to the bottom of this..."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snail Mail Delivery-Episode II

“Sir, I have caught sight of snail mail delivery. He is at the end of the lane and should arrive sometime in the next few hours.”

Sidney, the snail mail carrier, was in the distance trudging through the snow.

“Perhaps it’s Georgiana!” Steerforth exclaimed.

“So soon? I thought we had more time before her return!” Pearl declared.

Keep in mind no distinct time of arrival was given, or should I say delivery, so this could very well be her.”
Turning to his butler, “Hobbs, my good fellow, go help Sidney with the package. It could take all day at his snail’s pace.”

Befuddled by the request Hobbs replied indignantly, “Go out in the snow in my bear paws? I think not sir!
Confound it! I am a butler not a mail carrier!”
And with that he left the room.

“Steerforth, shouldn’t you persuade Hobbs to go? After all, he answers to you not the other way around.” Burl said delicately.

“He’s a good chap who goes above and beyond the call of duty in most cases. He must have his pride you know. Whatever is in the package will be revealed soon enough. Let’s have another round of tea while we wait.”

Sometime later…

The whispered murmur of Sidney’s slinking locomotion signaled his arrival. As the sound of the bell pealed through the halls Hobbs scooted hurriedly to usher in the delivery.

Breathless from his trek Sidney mumbled, "Good day Hobbs. Sorry for the delay but I'm feeling a bit sluggish today. I have a delivery for Sir Beartram."
"I'll see that he receives it"
Signing for the package Hobbs closed the door as Sidney meandered back down the snowy path.

“Sir, a package has arrived.” Hobbs announced.
All the bears gathered round as Steerforth carefully opened the box. As the lid was lifted everyone peered inside when a manicured paw jutted out from oodles of paper wadding startling the furry onlookers.

"Some assistance would be appreciated!" a muffled voice chirped from within.
Purging the layers of packing Steerforth helped the traveller out of the box.
"Georgiana! You're here! We were not expecting you so soon."

"I wanted to surprise you so I was sent by  way of expedited post" she said as she hugged her brother.

Burl and Pearl joined in on the welcome before Pearl blurted out, "My goodness it is splendid to have you home but you gave us no time to prepare for your arrival."
"Oh Pearl, always the party planner. This is exactly why I chose snail mail as a means of travel. I wanted no fuss made over my return. However, I did receive a letter prior to my departure  that Victoria Bearwell will be paying us a visit quite soon."
Several button eyes rolled before Burl spoke, "Hmmm...I guess we need to start stocking up on tea."
"Burl, must you be so crass? You know she means well." Georgiana retorted.
"Means well? Honestly Georgiana, you are too kind at times. After all, she is just like..."
Before he finished his statement Steerforth chimed in, "Enough about Victoria's upcoming visit. Georgiana is home and we should celebrate!"
They gathered in the parlor and rang for Hobbs to bring a fresh pot of tea and scones. Georgiana was sharing the adventures of her travels when a strange feeling ran through Pearl causing the mohair on her neck to stand on end.
Noticing her discomfort Georgiana queried, "Are you alright Pearl, you look a bit fluffed."
"I think so I just had a strange sensation, as if something were watching me...